It may seem like travel agents are a thing of the past, but we work with travel agencies every day at Bella Vista Tours.
Why would our clients prefer to work with travel agents? For our discerning customers, value and service are important—and travel is much more than a commodity where one tries to get the cheapest price for a mass marketed experience. They have high expectations for their precious leisure time.Travel agents’ roles, in turn, are evolving from taking care of the details of reservations to being highly trusted advisors who can find you the best deals and provide insider scoops about where to go and how.
The details are still important, because you likely do not want to spend time on the phone or searching online for the best deals in your price range. Today’s travel agents are sophisticated guides to what’s new and what’s the best in travel.
Here are six good reasons agencies are not even close to extinct:
- Peace of Mind. Planning and booking complicated trips online is a lot of labor, and many things can go wrong. How can you tell whether to trust anonymous reviewers on a website—do they care about the same things that are important to you? How do you know you’re getting the best price? How do you even know you’ll get what you think you’ve paid for?
- Specialization. Travel agents often specialize in particular types of travel such as groups, cruises or adventure travel; or in specific geographic areas. They will give you good advice because they typically have cutting edge information to share. An agent who knows your particular needs will tell you, for example, which river cruise is right for you, rather than trying to push something that isn’t right for you.
- Insider Connections. Travel agencies have an insider perspective and industry connections. Their training and travel experience gives them the ability to get to know at a granular level all the destinations that they specialize in. Agents spend time each year touring, which isn't all fun and games. They are checking that hotels haven’t let their standards drop with new management, or researching new places and activities that you might never have known existed. Their insider status also gives them the ability to get you into hotels that are booked or make sure you don’t get that room above the boiler room for your special trip. That could happen to you if you book online and you would never know.
- Emergency Help. If something goes wrong, your travel agent will take care of it. You can reach him or her while you are away and having a problem. You can’t do that with Expedia. Travel agents have longstanding relationships and can get you satisfaction, because they have leverage. Even if something goes wrong before you leave and you have to postpone your trip, travel agents can often change the arrangements for you much less painfully than you could yourself. They know what’s possible and what your options are.
- Better value for your money. With a trusted agent, you can get things such as free room upgrades, hard-to-get tickets and reservations, added amenities, and so on. You will receive a lot more value for your travel dollar with a lot less hassle. You won’t do any better online. Travel agencies have access to the same data that travel websites have, plus they have the skill to interpret it. Some agencies even guarantee that they will match a price you have found online.
- Unique experiences. With their knowledge and connections, travel agents are extremely good at creating unique trips for individuals that aren’t like everyone else’s. Want a luxury room overlooking the beach or to travel with groups that have different itineraries? Travel agents love doing these kinds of special trips, and creating one-of-a-kind memories.
Need some help with your trip to Italy? Bella Vista tours has Italian travel experts who will love to help you create the trip of a lifetime. Reach us (or have your agent talk to us) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-723-0802.